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Why is IYG Over the Rainbow?

Since launching our refreshed brand on Saturday, we have been asked the same question several times: “What happened to the rainbow?”

Therefore, we wanted to take a moment to explain why our branding has moved beyond the longstanding icon.

When IYG was founded in 1987, white cisgender gay individuals made up the vast majority of the youth we served. In fact, that demographic made up much of the visible LGBTQ+ community. As time has gone on, we have seen that change – especially in the last 3-5 years. Today IYG serves a wide range of queer young people of diverse sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic identities.

We also have the privilege of knowledge and perspective that earlier advocates did not. In 2024, more and more organizations are becoming aware of the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), IYG included. In reassessing IYG’s image, we thought very carefully about colors and symbols and the meanings they hold. We also discussed this at length with those we serve and members of our community. In these discussions, many individuals were brave enough to share the fact that they simply do not feel represented by the rainbow. This goes back to the fact that the symbol is most strongly associated with a small portion of the queer community.

Historically underrepresented populations such as gender diverse (transgender, nonbinary, agender, intersex) individuals, People of Color, and those with underrepresented sexualities (aromantic, asexual, demisexual) often feel that this symbol is not for them. While efforts have been made to add more colors to progress pride flags, it can still leave these groups feeling like an afterthought when we add representation to something that wasn’t built for them in the first place. Adding diversity does not always equate to increased equity, inclusion, or belonging. We must strive to build all four elements.

For these reasons, IYG opted not to rebrand with a new rainbow logo that included more colors. Additionally, as time goes on and our community becomes more enlightened to complexities and diversity of queer identities, it would become infeasible to continually add new colors and symbols. Therefore, we decided to steer a whole new direction and come up with a logo and color scheme that is uniquely IYG and representative of the young people we serve.

In no way does our new brand intend to “take the gay away” or “hide.” It is simply meant to be welcoming and inclusive to all queer people and promote that all are welcome at IYG regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, or race/ethnicity.  

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in no way is IYG attempting to “cancel” the rainbow. It still has its place in our community – especially progressive versions. In fact, if you visit us at an upcoming pride event, you will find that the rainbow is still present alongside other pride flags and symbols. If the rainbow resonates with and represents you, sport it with pride! The rainbow will undoubtedly continue to be a symbol of pride; however, it is no longer the symbol of IYG and the young people we serve.

If you are still wondering how we landed on the colors and symbol that we did, please continue to follow our social media, as we will have more posts detailing the new look of IYG and how it came to be. Happy Pride!

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